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German cabinet approves immigration laws to ease worker shortageThe German cabinet has approved a new immigration law in a bid to attract skilled foreign labor. The long-awaited law, which is due to come into force in 2020,  removes several obstacles for immigrants wishing to work in Germany, especially for those who prove they can fill job shortages that Germany and other EU nationals cannot.

It also permits immigrants with appropriate qualifications, German knowledge and necessary financial means, to come to Germany and seek for work. Previously, the opportunity was reserved only for the highly-qualified professionals.

Under this law, foreign labor will also be permitted to come to Germany and have their qualifications approved and officially recognized by a German institution.

German businesses, in particular those suffering because of the absence of appropriately qualified workers, have been demanding such a law for almost three decades. Among them, companies in the IT sector. Only last week, the German IT sector federation Bitkom announced that there were 82,000 vacant jobs in the IT companies, twice as much as the previous year.

According to the German newspaper Deusche Welle, the law may be in disfavor of Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners. The duo have been losing voters to the far-right Alternative for Germany, since 2015 when Germany opened its doors to refugees.

Mekel’s cabinet supported the law, pointing out that this way Germany could benefit from nationalist policies in the US and the UK.

“This is a good day for modern Germany,” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the assembled reporters.

Whereas, Thomas Liebig of the OECD group of industrialized nations asserted that though Germany has a very open system for highly qualified migration, the system had been closed for medium-qualified.

“This is the area where labor shortages are particularly strong. The new law opens up in the mid-skilled segment,” Liebig concluded.

Members of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) known for their anti-immigration stances criticized the move, claiming it would encourage migrants to move to Germany and seek asylum. They assert that under the law, they would be permitted to stay even in case of a rejected application.

“Even cleaners at the Doner Kebab joint have an employment contract,” said AfD lawmaker Lars Herrmann, insisting that Germany needs an immigration law that regulates and limits immigration.

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